# The Basic Idea

# The Overall Principle

The basic idea behind Chartnado is based primarily on the concept of the pivot table, that is to say creating groups of data.

Chartnado takes the pivot table concept much further however. With a pivot table all you can really do is present a table of numbers. With Chartnado you can display charts, pies, treemaps and much more.

# The CrossTable

The main concept of Chartnado is that of a CrossTable. It is configured by dragging columns from your data source into one of 4 areas:

  1. Rows
  2. Columns
  3. Arguments
  4. Values

Grouping is done by dragging columns to Rows, Columns or Arguments

Calculations are performed by dragging columns to Values.

# Starting Simple

The main grouping of a CrossTable is Arguments, so we'll start there. When you drag a column into Arguments, the data is grouped on the values in that column.

For example, if you were to drag the 'Country' column to Arguments then you would get a group for each unique value for country.

Each group would have a key (country name by default) and a list of rows for that country. All of this can be changed, but that's the default.

If you were then to drag the Sales column to Values you would then calculate a sum of all the rows in the Sales column. Each country would have a sum.

In a standard pivot table the only way to display the results of all this would be a table of numbers. However, with Chartnado, you could display the result as a chart.

# Small Multiples

The Rows and Columns features of a CrossTable allow you to create small multiples (sometimes referred to as a trellis).